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Video Monitors and Media Players for field or studio use (all display technologies).


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Old September 17th, 2010, 12:28 PM   #1
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HD projector?

Hi,

Looking to get an HD projector for an institution I work in but know next to nothing about them except the price varies hugely. It's for a medium size hall that seats about 150.

If anyone can poitn me in the right direction of at least making a start in chosing one I'd be grateful.

Geoff
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Old September 20th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #2
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From a projection point of view, 150 seats is actually pretty small. I'm not up on the current crop of projectors - sorry - but I can tell you a few things to think about.

How bright will the hall be at its brightest during a 'show'? If people are writing notes during a presentation, the projector needs to be bright enough, in lumens, to project a crisp image even while room light is spilling on the screen.

Distance from projector to screen. Most small to medium projectors have a zoom lens that should accomadate your situation, but if it is a really short throw, i.e. if you are doing rear projection, then you should let a dealer know that.

And finally, what signals are you giving it? 1024x768, full 1080p video? And if you don't have a switcher/scaler feeding it, are you going to give it different cables for different signals? Say an S-Video or component cable for a DVD player and a HD-15 (vga cable) for the computer.

And always check to find out how much fan noise the projetor makes...

If you are armed with these questions and a good sense of the projectors uses and location in the room, a dealer should be able to give you some good options budget-wise.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 12:11 PM   #3
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there are rules you should follow.
first it is not the number of people to consider, but the size of screen (usually width, but in fact it is surface)
then you got the ambient light (that will be subtracted from the projector's light).
then you convert the power of projector (usually in lumen) to lux
Lux to Lumens/Square Foot Conversion Calculator
so you get an idea of what you get.
You need to consider too the reflection factor of the screen (can be less than 1 , but can be much higher than 3) , knowing that high factor means everybody must be just in front of the screen, while low factor usually means the screen can be viewed from the side.
another point is the type of projection. A batman movie is not like a powerpoint presentation.
some projectors are using iris to make contrast numbers looks nice, but loose a lot of light in the process.
on the other side a too powerfull projector will be painfull on a presentation with wite background et gives washed blacks.
Technology also counts. DLP is great but some people are sensitive to the rainbow effect. LCD are great too and have others problems.

then you need to consider also the lens used (back room projection with tele lens or wide angle).
lot of light is lost with wide angle but long throw lens are usually optional and costly (when available)

quick rule would say you need 1000 lumens per meter of screen width, so you cannot go wrong.
You can find cheap projector with BENQ but do not expect to keep them for years, OPTOMA are about same price with better quality. Keep in mind that 3D is floating around so a DLP 3D ready could be a good idea.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #4
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Thanks Eric - very useful advice and definitely pertinent questions to ask!
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Old September 20th, 2010, 03:04 PM   #5
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Eric has some good suggestions.
HD projectors, especially ones that can do a full 1920x1080 can range from a 3500 lumen model for $2500 that takes HDMI to a 10,000 lumen $100K model that uses HDSDI.

As Eric said, throw distance from booth to screen and screen size is major. Cheap HD projectors have a fixed lens and cheap glass that can result in having to have the projector placed inside of a three foot area to fill your screen despite zoom factor due to the lens 'breathing" heavily.
HDMI doesn't go very far without extenders. Do you want a wired remote? Cost of replacement lamps. Ability to hang it (upside down). and projector mount options. Lots more to think about. Budget is most important.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 03:25 PM   #6
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Thanks Jacques,

Budget, yes the first step - I think the $2500 would be about top whack. Would want the best resolution we could get as its main function will be for showing HD video via HDMI (or possibly component out) from an MXO2 mini linked to a Mac or even directly linked to a miniDV player. Normally we have an SD projector about 20 feet from the screen which works fine though it might be up to double that distance. I think a quiet model would be crucial and I doubt we would need to use it in bright light as we have a fixed standard projector for all that. Doubt we'll want to fix it as it will be brought in and out for special concerts / viewings etc. Remote control would be useful.

Geoff
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Old September 20th, 2010, 03:38 PM   #7
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So if budget is driving this bus, and it is at $2500, because up until only a very short time ago there was NOTHING near 3500 lumens for that money. BH has this:
Optoma Technology TX1080 Multimedia Projector TX1080 - B&H Photo

This thing has DROPPED below $2K - WOW!

We got a couple of the slightly older models and they are surprisingly good for the dough. BUT, you will be LOCKED into a small foot print where the projector will work with whatever screen you have already.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 03:47 PM   #8
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Will look into that Jacques though live in the UK and have found the prices on BH very deceptive here as by the time tax and shipping is added it can look very different (25%+ more).

I think the footprint, as you put it, will be OK as its primary function will be for the hall and screen size we use that I mentioned and certainly won't be used anywhere bigger as far as I can foresee.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 10:40 PM   #9
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The 150 seat auditorium I support these days has a flown Christie projector that performs VERY well.

Christie - Providing Digital and Film Projectors for Any Application

MUCH more than 3500 ANSI lumens. Not sure of the model number and I'm not back in the room for a couple of days. NOT cheap, though...
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Old September 21st, 2010, 01:29 AM   #10
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i got 2 optoma Tx1080 and it is a projector delivering a GREAT picture.
last time a made test in my garden with a 5meter wide screen in full HD and quality and brightness were amazing.
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 03:48 PM   #11
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Thanks Giroud the detail in your earlier response is really useful and the model you and Jacques recommend looks within my price range.

The system you mention Shaun is very serious stuff but probably out of my league!

Thanks all - I'm really learning fast!
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